Hanne Zinck, Scandinavian Packaging, Peter Lanng Nielsen, Keolis, Lars Thinggaard, Milestone System and Christine Ørskov, Orskov Yard shared their best tips and trick to attract – and hold on to - employees at DI Business Summit 2018.

Photo: Rie Neuchs
DI Business News

Companies, make yourselves hot: Happy employees are good for the bottom line

Four companies reveal how they have gained employees by seeking them out at the margins of the labour market and setting up more traineeships. Across the board, companies report that job satisfaction is high among new employees – and that this shows on the bottom line.

Danish companies are lacking employees.

By now that point has been rammed home. But where can companies find the employees they need?

At the DI Business Summit 2018, companies offered concrete suggestions for how to bring in people at the margins of the labour market, recruit foreign talent and set up more traineeships.

Plastic company Scandinavian Packaging, transport company Keolis, video software company Milestone Systems and shipyard Orskov Yard shared their solutions to the labour shortage. 

The companies have turned to flex-job employees, refugees, foreign talent and trainees. And the results have been positive. At Scandinavian Packaging, more than 30% of their employees are employed through job centres, because they haven’t been able to get into the labour market on their own.

“These employees are dedicated and loyal, because they’re glad to be back in the labour market. And when you have positive, committed employees, it shows on the bottom line,” says Hanne Zinck, COO and Partner at Scandinavian Packaging.

For the companies, happier employees has resulted in higher productivity, fewer sick days and a better working environment. 

See also: Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen: Labour shortage jeopardises upswing

A piece of advice: take responsibility and make yourself hot to young people. Open up the company and show what you have to offer. Managing Director and Partner at Orskov, Christine Ørskov

Inspiring more people to join the labour market

Companies are thereby not only creating value for themselves but also for the new employees.

“I feel like it’s my second family,” says 35-year-old Nazliya Mohammed, bus driver at Keolis.

Nazliya is a refugee from Syria. Joining Keolis has helped her improve her Danish skills and integrate more quickly in Denmark, and benefits such as these are what give Nazliya such great job satisfaction.

“We hired Nazliya because she’s extremely dedicated. Nazliya and other like-minded employees bring with them positivity and a belief in something. They’ve been a source of joy, not hassle,” says Peter Lanng Nielsen, CEO at Keolis.

Nazliya’s satisfaction with her job rubs off on passengers. Several other Syrian-Kurdish women have asked how to get a job driving busses at Keolis. Nazliya’s satisfaction with her job thus has far-reaching consequences, inspiring others to join the labour market.

See also: Unfilled jobs mean more pressure on Danish employees

Make yourself hot

While companies are lacking employees, many students at vocational schools are lacking traineeships. Trainees create a huge amount of value at a workplace, and companies are becoming increasingly aware of this. One company where traineeships are highly prioritised is shipyard Orskov Yard.

“They’re magic,” says Christina Ørskov, Managing Director and Partner at Orskov Yard of the company’s trainees.

“We gain some really talented employees, but it’s also every company’s duty and responsibility to train young people. What’s more, they bring with them new knowledge from the schools that we can take advantage of,” she says.

At Orskov Yard, the aim is for at least 10% of employees to be trainees.

And what’s their advice to companies interested in bringing in trainees? In short, make yourself attractive – or, in the words of the business leaders themselves, “hot”.

“A piece of advice: take responsibility and make yourself hot to young people. Open up the company and show what you have to offer,” says Christine Ørskov.

Steen Nielsen

Underdirektør

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